A GLOOMY situation hanged on 17 villages in Rukwa Region following the death of four people and 2,390 people being rendered homeless after their houses were badly damaged by heavy rain accompanied by strong winds.
Among the deceased was Elizabeth Manamba (85), from Kipeta village along the Lake Rukwa Basin in Sumbawanga District, and an 80 year old resident of Mashete village who was hit on the head by falling debris from his house.
Others on the list include two minors who died at Matala village in Nkasi District identified as Laiton Kalindo (10) who was studying at Matala Primary School, and Mathias Anselimu (8).
During the chaotic scene, three churches, three schools and two dispensaries were badly damaged while 60 people sustained injuries, 50 of them from Kyamatundu and Kipeta villages and ten from Muze villages in Lake Rukwa Basin.
This grim picture was revealed by the Rukwa Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Bernard Makali while listing major challenges the region faced during the second quarter of 2018/19 Financial Year during the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) meeting held Saturday here in the municipality.
The RCC meeting was chaired by Rukwa Regional Commissioner, (RC) Mr Joachim Wangabo. The RAS further told the gathering that most of the victims from the storms sought refuge at public buildings and received help from nearby villages since they lost everything.
On his part, the RC urged residents in the region to cultivate the tradition of planting trees around their households which will act as windbreakers during the episode of natural calamity, telling them that they should refrain from cutting or burning trees.